Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The new buzz at the homestead.....

 Bees at the homestead! 

Sometime last year we got to chatting to one of the ladies who comes to hear us play music and eventually the conversation turned to gardens, food, and self reliance.  We found out that her husband kept bees and was looking for other places to put hives not far from their house.  We told her that he was more than welcome to come and look at our place to see if it would be suitable and the conversation was left at that.

Later in the year, we had a cookout and jam session here at the homestead and this couple came to join us in the festivities.  Her husband took a stroll around the meadow and told us we had a good spot for some hives and that if we wanted some honey and such, he could install them in the Spring.
"What would we have to do?", we asked, "we know nil about beekeeping."
"Nothing", he replied.  "I take care of them, you just let me use your land.  In return, you get honey".

Now how could you refuse such an offer as this!  Really, all we have to do is keep the grass cut around the hives.  That's it.  No brainer...

So, a  few weeks ago,this gentleman,  the President of the Carroll County Beekeepers called and told us he was coming over to build a place for the hives so he could get the ball rolling and get the actual hives here in time for the locust bloom.  A few days later, he and another member installed the hives.

He's been back a few times to do some maintenance on the hives and has also added a "super" (not sure what it's called), re-queened one hive, and brought someone interested in bees to come and see the set-up.

Since then, hubsters has gone back into the meadow with him a couple of times, even got "suited up" to open the hives. Consequently, he's caught bee fever and will be taking a class from the Association in the fall.

The next task, I've been told, is to "suit me up" and get me back there.
I think if you have to get suited up for something it sounds dangerous.
I've mellowed in my old age - dangerous doesn't sound appealing to me.
Or maybe I'm just a wimp at heart......

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chanticleer aka Queen Maeve gets a new home.....

 Since Queen Maeve turned out to be not a queen at all and was already being overly feisty with the other ladies, we knew he had to be re-homed or the rooster would have become a roaster.
Here he is ready to be transported to 63 acres of free range heaven.

 I think old Chanticleer was a little overwhelmed and didn't quite know what to do with his first steps on the farm, so, he took a small rest to think about his next move.

 It was during these few quiet moments of reflection when "he" came running in to see who the new bloke was. 

 Next thing you know, there were several blokes there to check out Chanticleer.  Let's just say it wasn't the warmest reception given, but, Chanticleer put on a brave face.

 Chanticleer spotted me and quickly flew to the fence and then proceeded to scream at me, in a way only a rooster could - "what the hell were you thinking bringing me here!"
(click on the pic to see his face and body language)

 After time had passed and evening was approaching the rolling hills of the farm, Chanticleer felt he was in the clear and that things would be okay.  Maybe those other blokes just didn't know how to greet such a handsome rooster as himself.  So with confidence regained, Chanticleer began to make a move to start exploring the farm.

 But, alas, it was not to be.  This chap wanted him all to himself and would not let him go exploring.

I guess we all have to make sacrifices, and, this was Chanticleers.  For acres of freedom, he would have to be the low man on the totem pole for a while.
Who knows how things will change as time passes on the farm.

FYI- as of Friday, Chanticleer was roaming the farm, but, staying close to the farm house and away from the barn and the other lads.

Smart move, old boy, until you grow enough to stake your place in the world..  :0)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Peaceful Fridays.....

Find yourself by being lost this weekend.
Guinness optional....

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all...........

*photo of hubsters taken last Sunday at Green Akeys Farm.  I'll post about our wonderfully lost day soon*

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Too much excitement for a middle-aged woman.....

 Remember that really big egg from a couple of weeks ago?

 Well, the time finally came to find out how many yolks was inside.
I said one huge yolk.  Others said a double yolk.

 Hubsters doing the honors....
drum roll, please.....

 It was a double yolker!  Good thing I didn't lay down any cash on this!

All this excitement has done me in.  I think I'll need to sit here for a while with an adult beverage or two.
Yeah, two.  Two yolks, two drinks.
Seems fitting somehow....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Peaceful Fridays.....

Photo courtesy of Go Local-Sustainable Living Maryland
The cycle of rain is breaking and the skies are turning blue.
Time for the Go Local Fair at the beautiful Carroll County Farm Museum.

Here's wishing you sunny skies, fresh veg, and good friends this weekend.

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all......

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sheep and Wool Festival part 2.....

 Other things from the Festival

 Spinning demonstrations caught my fancy on my wanders through the fair.
Isn't this such a large wheel?

 I'm sure if I tried this it would come out as big clumps of yarn.  She made it look so easy!

 One of my favorite parts of the festival - herding demonstrations.

 This gent was so cool and collected.  He instructed the dogs with little chirps and whistles.  His body language was totally still.

 Bringing them through the gate.

 Working hard...

 That'a'boy - keep them in line...

A tired, dedicated herder.
I had to fight the urge to say "that'll do, pig".

I didn't come home with any sheep, but, I did score this gorgeous Lincoln sheepskin to snuggle in to read during the cool, winter season.
It smells of lanolin and lamb.
It's comforting and welcoming and I hope the little sheep that it came from knows this little ol' homesteading woman appreciates every woolly fiber.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hello, it's me......

Just a quick note to all my blogging buddies to say that I'm still here, but, not on here...

I wish I could say that I've been on a beach somewhere having drinks with tropical names and funny little umbrella's or hiking through the woods at a zen retreat reflecting on life's moments, but, sadly, it's just been work, work, work.  And then I'm actually trying to you know, grow some food and raise some chicks here on the side, not to mention cutting grass in between what appears to be the rainy season on the Savannah...

I did try to post Peaceful Friday last week, but, Blogger, as many of you know, wasn't in a good mood and I didn't have time to come back to do it.  :-(

In the meantime until I can get back to my regularly scheduled life, here's a grin for y'all....

taken from cyberspace

Monday, May 9, 2011

Warning...woolly cuteness ahead....

Part one of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

The hubsters and I had a day to ourselves and ventured out for a day of wool, wool, and well, more wool.

 We saw: sheep chillin'

 Baa, baa, black sheep

 Stately rams

 Sheep getting sheared

 Hungry sheep

 Just way too cute sheep

 Sleepy sheep

 Many horned sheep

 Sheep that even get their um, do-dads sheared and trimmed

 Sheep that don't want to get sheared

 Horny sheep

 Shy sheep

 Laughing sheep

And my favorite - Shetland babies.

Can you say awwwww.......

To be continued....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Peaceful Fridays.....

Tis' the time to enjoy the heady scents of Spring...

Breathe deep and dream....

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all......

Woke up, got outta bed......

And, no, I didn't drag a comb across my head.  What I did was the norm - start the java, let the dogs have their morning constitutional, and tend to the girls.  But, I had a bit of a surprise this morning.

Before I go down to the coop or the new chicken tractor, I stand on my back porch and just breathe.  I take a moment to appreciate the morning.  As I did so this morning, I heard a faint, new sound coming from the chicken tractor.  After I heard this sound, I stood in disbelief and thought to myself - uh,uh - no way, I'm just not awake yet.  As this thought exited my sleepy brain, I heard the sound again.  I opened the back door on the porch which leads into the kitchen and softly tell the hubsters to come here and listen.  Of course, the hens didn't oblige.  After several minutes of waiting, I tell the ole hubsters never mind, I'm just hallucinating.  No sooner had the words left my lips when the sound happened again.  The sound not unfamiliar to hear on a farm or homestead at first light. 

It was the sound of someone trying their first cock-a-doodle do's.
Bloody hell... they are supposed to be pullets.
I think Queen Maeve or Queenie, as we've been calling her, may be a Roo, and hence shall have the title of King, not, Queen.
 I think she's the culprit.
Sorry about the poor quality-it was shot through chicken wire

We had suspicions earlier by the way her/his tail feathers seemed to a bit more glorious than the others and longer, too.  It also appears the saddle feathers are long and flowy as what you may find on a roo.

I'm looking forward to first light tomorrow to listen for the "sound" at first morning light.  I know hens can crow if a roo isn't present, but, I think it's pretty unusual.  At this point, it's a waiting game.  I hope for her/his sake it is a hen.  'Nuff said.

Here's the finished chicken tractor that hubsters built to temporarily house these girls until they are big enough to go to the coop with the big girls. 
We move it everyday to a fresh spot of ground so the girls can dig around for bugs and grubs and other buggy delights.  If hens can look happy, these six are in their glory!

Spring has finally presented herself here at the homestead, although she has begrudgingly done so.  It's been cool and very wet - circumstances that make gardening of any type hard to do.  On top of this, add a very hectic work schedule, and, at times, it feels nere impossible to get anything done outdoors! 
Steady on, is all I can say....

Hubsters getting ready for the second tilling on the big garden.  It's taken weeks for it to be dry enough to re-till
I hope to post about the gardens soon and what all we've been up to, including the happenings at this years Faerie Festival. 

I need to catch up with everyone - I'm missing my blogging buddies!